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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
August 19, 2013

Front Page Photograph By DOUG BURKMAN

The 295 feet long by 40 feet wide Athena was photographed as it passed by the Ketchikan International while cruising south last Monday evening.
Front Page Photograph By DOUG BURKMAN ©2013
(Please respect the rights of photographers, never republish or copy
without permission and/or payment of required fees.)



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Ketchikan: Presidential Permit Filing Opens Door to Creation of New Southeast Alaska Renewable Energy Export Industry - In a move aimed at expanding the market for Southeast Alaska's vast renewable hydro resource, Alaska Power & Telephone Company subsidiary Soule Hydro, LLC (Soule Hydro) has applied for a Presidential permit to construct and operate the first electric transmission line crossing the United States border delivering Alaska-based renewable electric energy into Canada.

Presidential Permit Filing Opens Door to Creation of New Southeast Alaska Renewable Energy Export Industry

The high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) hydroelectric transmission line will originate at the Soule River, on Portland Canal in Southeast Alaska, and continue to the BC Hydro Stewart Substation on the north side of Stewart, British Columbia.
Photo courtesy AP&T

"By working closely with regional business, industry partners and research organizations such as the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, AP&T shares a larger vision of what is possible for the future of Alaska's vast stranded renewable energy resources," states Robert Grimm, President of Alaska Power & Telephone Company. "We are convinced the development of a new renewable energy industry, coupled with a resurgence of Alaska's timber, mineral, fisheries and petroleum market segments, will greatly benefit those in need of these resources, while creating economic well-being for Alaskans."

On March 18, 2013, Soule Hydro filed an application with the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability of the Department of Energy (DOE) for a Presidential Permit as required by Executive Order (EO 10485) to allow for the construction of international electrical Transmission facilities between the U.S. and a foreign country.

Soule Hydro proposes to construct and operate a high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) hydroelectric transmission line that is to originate at the Soule River, on Portland Canal in Southeast Alaska, and continue to the BC Hydro Stewart Substation on the north side of Stewart, British Columbia. It would occupy federal land administered by the Ketchikan-Misty Fjords Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) and would be capable of transmitting up to 77.4 megawatts (MW) of power.

The Alaska portion of the Project would be an 8-mile long, 138 kilovolt (kV) HVAC 3-phase submarine cable that would be laid on the floor of Portland Canal before crossing the International Boundary off the community of Hyder, Alaska, where it would extend another 2 miles to land at Stewart, B.C. Arrow Dock. - More...
Monday PM - August 19, 2013

Front Page Photograph By GARY & CAROL COX

Herring Cove Fishing
Frequent visitors to Ketchikan & Alaska, Gary & Carol Cox of Tennessee, took this picture of Kurt Ward of Richard Phillips Marine at Herring Cove recently. Ward was very happy for two catches of the day, this was one of them.
Front Page Photograph By GARY & CAROL COX ©2013

Propulsion Trouble Strands Celebrity Ship in Ketchikan - Just one week after the Celebrity Millennium was stuck in Seward for four days due to an electrical problem with one of its propulsion motors, the propulsion trouble now strands the ship in Ketchikan.

Propulsion Trouble Strands Celebrity Ship in Ketchikan

Sunday evening, the Celebrity Millennium is docked in Ketchikan after returning with tug assist.
Photograph by Susan Hoyt ©2013

The Celebrity Millennium returned to Ketchikan with tug assist Sunday evening due to problems with one of the ship's two propulsion units according to Cynthia Martinez, director of global corporate communications for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the parent company of Celebrity. - More...
Monday PM - August 19, 2013

Alaska: Bear mauling victim rescued - In the early morning hours Friday, airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons rescued a man who was mauled by a brown bear 30 nautical miles north of Anaktuvuk Pass.

Initially the North Slope Bureau Search and Rescue Department deployed teams that attempted to reach the victim, who was part of a guided hunting party, on multiple occasions by helicopter but were turned back because of dense fog in the area. After the North Slope Bureau’s final attempt to reach the victim was again hampered by weather, they called the Alaska State Troopers requesting assistance. Ultimately, Troopers were unable to execute the mission also because of the poor weather conditions.

The 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center contacted Troopers and the North Slope Bureau Aug. 15 regarding another ongoing mission and realized the two agencies were having difficulty reaching this bear mauling victim.

According to the RCC, the man had been suffering for approximately 36 hours with severe injuries and possible loss of life, so the RCC offered assistance to Troopers and the North Slope Bureau with the mission. Both accepted the offer and requested the RCC to proceed. - More...
Monday PM - August 19, 2013

Fish Factor:
F/V volunteers needed to field test new EMS By LAINE WELCH - Want to get onboard observers out of those small fishing boat bunks?

The more fishermen who volunteer their vessels to field test new electronic monitoring systems (EMS), the faster the program will replace that extra body onboard.

Starting this year and for the first time, fishery observers are required aboard Alaska’s long line fleet of roughly 1,500 boats, most of which are well under 50 feet.

Observers have been aboard other types of Alaska fishing vessels for decades to collect data and monitor catches and bycatches; now scientists and managers want a better idea of what’s coming up on those miles of hooks and lines, no matter what the vessel size.

Small boat fishermen are clamoring to displace the observers with cameras, which are proving to be a good set of eyes. EMS has been used on large Bering Sea boats for several years, and fishery managers have grappled with how to move cameras beyond compliance functions to culling reliable research data.

“We know we can use camera technologies, and we already have it regulated and operational,” said Martin Loefflad, director of NOAA Fisheries’ Monitoring and Analysis Division of the North Pacific Observer Program at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

“The challenge becomes very different when you move from ‘is industry behaving the way they are supposed to by regulation, to looking at what is actually coming up on the lines, and trying to identify and measure it, and then trying to get the data from the video into the hands of a manager so they can use it to make decisions. And therein lies some of the interesting technical challenges,” Loefflad explained, calling the new venture “our first big foray into EMS.” 

That’s where the F/V volunteers come in.

“We are really dependent on the fishing industry to help us,” Loefflad said. “We are looking for folks who will work with us to take it out on their boats and be creative. To help us understand their operations, and how the camera systems can best fit into those operations so it works for everybody.” - More...
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letter VOTE YES ON HOSPITAL BONDS By Bill Tatsuda - PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, Ketchikan’s largest private employer with over 400 good paying jobs, is very important to our local economy and quality of life.  The key to the hospital’s viability is its ability to perform surgeries, which bring patients to the hospital facility thus generating enough revenue to keep the hospital open.  The current operating rooms are too old, too small, and inadequate to carry the hospital far into the future.  Recruiting and retaining top surgeons in Ketchikan will become more and more difficult if not impossible unless new, larger, modern, state of the art surgical suites are added.  The viability of our hospital depends on accomplishing its planned expansion. - More...
Thursday PM - August 15, 2013

letter Obamacare is not ready: Alaska declined to create an exchange, for good reasons By Gov. Sean Parnell -  As governor of Alaska, I have a responsibility to carefully review federal policies and consider how they will impact the 49th state.

After suing the federal government over Obamacare’s individual mandate, I said “no” to our state designing and building a health insurance exchange to meet Obamacare’s provisions. I challenged the federal government to build and pay for Alaska’s exchange itself. That was the right choice. - More...
Thursday PM - August 15, 2013

letter WAKE UP POWERS TO BE AND PAY ATTENTION!!! By Sally Balch - My heart breaks for Cody and Kathy Evans as they are going through the grieving process of losing their wonderful son Jessie. He was a very nice person and this whole situation is mind boggling. - More...
Thursday PM - August 15, 2013

letter Guns: Stand Your Ground By Mike Harpold - In September, Alaska will be blessed with a new law allowing me to use deadly force to stand my ground if I am in a place I have a right to be, like a public park, a street or a bar, and am threatened with serious bodily injury by a bully. Thanks Governor Parnell and state lawmakers, but I think I will pass on this. - More...
Thursday PM - August 15, 2013

letter Tansy ragwort By Victoria Mcdonald - Tansy ragwort continues to grow throughout our hot dry summer. A few of us have been busy picking on the south end, mainly in the Fawn Mountain area. One woman in Bear Valley called with information that she sprayed full strength white vinegar on plants in her driveway and the first year tansy plants died out, (along with surrounding plants so be careful). I've sprayed first year plants as I pick the tall second year growth and will see if vinegar is as powerful as she reported. - More...
Thursday PM - August 15, 2013

letter Open Letter: Congressional medical largess By A. M. Johnson - Senator Murkowski, in case you are not keeping up with the reactions to your recent largess allow me to expose it to you and your staff. Confirmation on reason not to trust my government. - More...
Thursday PM

letter Past time for citizens of the USA to politically revolt By Glen E Terrell - It's well past time for citizens of the USA to politically revolt against our elected governing elite, or EGE. The EGE has mal served our country for decades. Congressmen have served their own personal greed and members of both parties have worked to advance their own party's strength. Meanwhile the welfare of the country has been ignored. America is no longer respected around the world, agencies of our government are abusing and spying on us citizens, the national debt and deficit have America on the brink of financial collapse and now Congress has exempted its members and their staff members from Obama care. Enough is enough! - More...
Thursday PM - August 15, 2013

letter Military Cuts Jeopardize National Security By Donald A. Moskowitz - Our national security could be in jeopardy if the $500 billion in sequestration defense cuts are implemented.  Our military had to absorb $80 billion in prior cuts and is now cutting $487 billion over 10 years to comply with the Budget Control Act. - More...
Thursday PM - August 15, 2013

letter Murder in the street By Claire Natkong - Zimmerman got away with murder, which is usual these days. - More...
Thursday PM - August 15, 2013

letter 911 Proposed Call Fees By Andy Rauwolf - Regarding the City of Ketchikan seeking to charge Borough residents a fee for 911 emergency calls outside the city limits. It’s time that the public be informed of the history and perspective on this subject. - More...
Sunday AM - August 11, 2013

letter On the Death of Our Beloved Son By Cody & Kathy Evans - There used to be a sign painted on the roof of an old barn between Eugene and Reedsport, Oregon.  It said “Soldiers of the Cross ARMOR UP.”

For years I drove past that barn and thought just being a good Christian meant being “ARMORED UP.”  Over the last few days I have come to realize it means much more, it means war.  On 08-03-13, our beloved son died after being tormented by a person he went to Ketchikan High with - used to be buddies with and probably even did some drugs with.  His friend has become a drug dealing monster with no soul.  He tormented our son, broke into his home and beat him while asleep in bed, but our son refused to press charges, saying “You don’t understand he used to be a friend of mine.  Maybe he has it out of his system now.” - More...
Sunday AM - August 11, 2013

letter KPU By Joey Garcia - I would like to get a clarification on the kind of billing the Ketchikan Public Utilities (KPU) has for the sake of enlightenment to what I need to know. When my wife forgot to pay a month after receiving a statement from the KPU Office last July 2012, she was appraised of a penalty for late payment of $50 for cable and $50 for internet. Having to note that these penalties chunked down so as to save our hard earned cash for budgeted expenses relevant to the "take it or leave it" Ketchikan style of revenue economy, when I inquired personally, a KPU personnel told me that this penalty can be applied to billings for one year from date of payments, e.i. I have to soften my kind of reasoning to my wife that at least, we can have a rest when July of 2013 comes around. - More...
Sunday AM - August 11, 2013

letter   No Bridge By Samuel E. Bergeron - I was a proponent of the bridge to Gravina back when the bridge made sense; today it’s laughable to consider putting $250-300 million, or more, into a project of that magnitude. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 07, 2013

letter Highway Robbery? By Chris Elliott - My daughter, her husband and my two grandsons recently visited Ketchikan. After driving from Phoenix to Bellingham, they arrived on the M/V Columbia with a camper on their truck and a dog. The round trip cost on the AMHS? I was shocked and appalled. $3,831.00. Thank goodness the driver rides free. Individual fares were $239.00. The dog was $25.00. The camper was $994.00. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 07, 2013

letter FALSE PROFITS - In the nineteenth and the early twentieth century we brought the “chink” and the “wetback” to the factory via massive in-migration. In the early twenty-first century we have reversed the process and now via outsourcing bring the factory to the “wetback” and to the “chink.” The intent in both instances is, nonetheless, the same, to degrade labor to the point of a peonage as close to slave labor as is humanly possible. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 07, 2013

letter Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia By Barbara Haney - Please contact the Governor's Office and your state legislators and ask the State to cancel the agreement with Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (SBAC). While appearing to be a mere vendor for a test, the consortium is a governance structure that ends state sovereignty over educational issues. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 07, 2013

letter Business deal By Dominic Salvato - Sealaska's land allotment isn't a Native rights issue. It is a business deal with the intent to make millions for the executives of the Sealaska Corporation. Tlingit,Haida and Tsimshian citizens of the United State already own the land. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 07, 2013

letter Odds and Ends... By Joey Garcia - Quoting Mr. Kiffer re Ketchikan as a Fantasy Island is quite absorbing and educational. It doesn't matter who came and visited our Salmon Capital of the World or Gateway City, I already belonged to the group of this Fantasy Island...- More...
Wednesday PM - August 07, 2013

letter Stand your ground By Duane Hill - The last letter I sent was on the subject of the murderous thug Trayvon Martin and only incidentally about Stand Your Ground. The editor changing the subject line from "Trayvon Martin" to "Stand your ground" really confused what I was talking about. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 07, 2013

letter Dr. John McMichael Sloan By Janis Morritt Vodden - I am seeking information about Dr. John McMichael SLOAN who went to Nome, Alaska in the early days and was there for many years. He was the son of Andrew.W. & Agnes SLOAN. A.W. was an prominent apple grower in the Blyth, Huron Co., Ontario area of Canada. It is my understanding that he went to Nome, Alaska, probably around the 1890s and lived there for many years. - More...
Wednesday PM - August 07, 2013

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